#BestReadsOf2020 Day 26 - Day 31: Most Read Authors, Best Sidekick, Best Bromance, Best New Series, Best Underrated Book, Best Book of 2020!


It's that time again! One again Sophie at Beware of the Reader is kicking off December with daily prompts for all of the years' best reads. And this time she's joined by Bookstagrammers @sophiesreadingcorner, @pavlinamich, @eliz_white, and @utcabookblog. This is my third year participating and I'm excited to take part again.


2020 seemed to be the year of me binging series so that led to multiple books by several authors. Topping the list were Corinne Michaels, T.M. Frazier, and Devney Perry. Close runners-up were Kennedy Ryan and Sarina Bowen.



Peanut, Trinity's ghostly pal in Rage and Ruin, was a never-ending source of entertainment.


This has to go to that awesome pairing of Marcus + Alex in Spoiler Alert. Their texts, their banter, their addiction to baking competition shows... they were priceless.


Hm, I don't really have a definite answer for this one. But I'll go with The Roommate. I think it's the start of a series? I'm pretty sure there's another book coming, I just don't know if it's considered a series. We'll go with it.


I sound like a broken record, but Lora Richardson's books deserve so much more attention. I read all four of her new releases this year and, while Anticipating Spring was my favorite, all were such sweet YA contemporaries and I wish they had a wider audience.


Had I not read this particular book, there would have been several other contenders for best book of 2020. Boyfriend Material was an absolute joy, I loved Cake, and The Family Upstairs stayed with me for weeks after I read it. Rage and Ruin and Regretting You were big favorites. And Where the Lost Wander just missed taking the top spot by the tiniest margin. But I knew when I read STILL way back in March that it would be my top read of the year, and nothing else I read changed my mind.

Here's part of my review: Kennedy Ryan writes more than just a love story. She manages to interweave social issues, poetry, humor and heart and combines it all to make a story that is vast and rich and relevant. Still was smart and thought-provoking, beautiful and gritty - and completely unforgettable.


Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books of 2020

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.


This week's prompt is pretty self-explanatory so let's just get right to it, shall we?


It may have been short (only 78 pages), but returning to world of #Wesmie was everything I wanted.  

They're back! Epic is a novella about your favorite hockey duo!
Jamie and Wes are having a blast living and working in Toronto. Until a scout for another team swoops in to make one of them an offer that might complicate the life they've built together.


This audiobook that I picked up on a whim became one of my biggest surprises of the year.

Quiet and aloof rock star Jake McKallister and outspoken, vivacious college student Casey Caldwell are polar opposites: Casey is bubbly and talkative; Jake is reclusive. Casey enjoyed a picturesque childhood; Jake’s childhood could only be described as a well-publicized nightmare. Jake’s life revolves around music, and Casey can’t carry a tune.

Music saved Jake, yet he lacks the outgoing personality expected of a famous performer. After surviving an unspeakable crime as a young teen, he becomes a guarded workaholic who desperately attempts to forget the past. Career success comes easily for Jake, but he struggles to make personal connections.

Despite their differences, Casey’s light harmonizes with Jake’s darkness, a balance embodied in the unexpectedly warm and humorous dual performance. Can the sweetness of true love overcome Jake’s tragic past?


This is the book that introduced me to Corinne Michaels way back in January. I've read several others by her since but this one remains my favorite.

I’m not a one-night stand kind of woman. I’m especially not the woman who has a few drinks at a concert and ends up in bed with my childhood celebrity crush, Eli Walsh.

However, that’s exactly where I find myself.

What’s a girl to do after a drunken mistake? Run. I grab my clothes and get away from the powerful, irresistible, and best-sex-of-my-life superstar as fast as I can. His gorgeous green eyes, rock-hard body, and cocky smile have no place in my world. My life is complicated enough.

Someone forgot to tell him that.

Eli is relentless. Pushing his way into my heart, wearing me down, proving he’s nothing like I assumed, and everything I need. But when my world shatters to pieces, he holds the broken bits together. Unwillingly, I fall desperately in love with him.

He made me think we’d have forever... I should’ve listened when he said we could only own tonight.


Yes, another one from Sarina Bowen. Is anyone surprised? This was the first book in a trilogy and while I enjoyed them all, it was this book that gave me all the feels and stayed with me.

Once upon a time, he gave me a summer of friendship, followed by one perfect night. We shared a lot during our short time together. But he skipped a few crucial details.

I didn’t know he was a rock star.

I didn’t know his real name.

Neither of us knew I’d get pregnant.

And I sure never expected to see him again.

Five years later, his tour bus pulls up in Nest Lake, Maine. My little world is about to be shattered by loud music and the pounding of my own foolish heart.


This book! Boyfriend Material was the book that gave me so much joy in 2020. I adored Luc in all his pessimistic, emo glory. And Oliver was a buttoned-up, fastidious cinnamon roll. Boyfriend Material became an instant favorite.

Luc O'Donnell is tangentially--and reluctantly--famous. His rock star parents split when he was young, and the father he's never met spent the next twenty years cruising in and out of rehab. Now that his dad's making a comeback, Luc's back in the public eye, and one compromising photo is enough to ruin everything.

To clean up his image, Luc has to find a nice, normal relationship...and Oliver Blackwood is as nice and normal as they come. He's a barrister, an ethical vegetarian, and he's never inspired a moment of scandal in his life. In other words: perfect boyfriend material. Unfortunately apart from being gay, single, and really, really in need of a date for a big event, Luc and Oliver have nothing in common. So they strike a deal to be publicity-friendly (fake) boyfriends until the dust has settled. Then they can go their separate ways and pretend it never happened.

But the thing about fake-dating is that it can feel a lot like real-dating. And that's when you get used to someone. Start falling for them. Don't ever want to let them go.


Armentrout seriously knows how to deliver the plot twists and she's a master (aka evil genius) with a cliffhanger. Rage and Ruin was the second entry in The Harbinger series and did not disappoint.

Half-angel Trinity and her bonded gargoyle protector, Zayne, have been working with demons to stop the apocalypse while avoiding falling in love. The Harbinger is coming…but who or what is it? All of humankind may fall if Trinity and Zayne can’t win the race against time as dark forces gather.

As tensions rise, they must stay close together and patrol the DC streets at night, seeking signs of the Harbinger, an entity that is killing Wardens and demons with no seeming rhyme or reason. Forbidden to be with each other, Zayne and Trinity fight their feelings and turn to unusual sources for help—the demon Roth and his cohorts. But as deaths pile up and they uncover a sinister plot involving the local high school and endangering someone dear to Zayne, Trin realizes she is being led…herded…played for some unknown end. As anger builds and feelings spiral out of control, it becomes clear that rage may be the ruin of them all.


I don't often veer out of my lane (contemporary romance) and mystery/thrillers aren't usually my thing, but when I do go that route, Lisa Jewell's brand of mystery/thriller combined with domestic drama is just what I want. I listened to The Family Upstairs on audio and was pulled into the story so completely. This was one that I kept thinking about for weeks after I finished it.

Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.

She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.

The can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets.


Colleen Hoover just doesn't disappoint. I loved this story of mothers and daughters, of family dynamics, grief, betrayal, and forgiveness. 

Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.

Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.

With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.

While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.


Where the Lost Wander covered a time period and setting that has never interested/appealed to me. But I trust Amy Harmon and that paid off in a very big way. The story that was delivered in Where the Lost Wander was so epic, so moving, and so majestic. This was an unforgettable journey.

The Overland Trail, 1853: Naomi May never expected to be widowed at 20. Eager to leave her grief behind, she sets off with her family for a life out West. On the trail, she forms an instant connection with John Lowry, a half-Pawnee man straddling two worlds and a stranger in both.

But life in a wagon train is fraught with hardship, fear, and death. Even as John and Naomi are drawn to each other, the trials of the journey and their disparate pasts work to keep them apart. John’s heritage gains them safe passage through hostile territory only to come between them as they seek to build a life together.

When a horrific tragedy strikes, decimating Naomi’s family and separating her from John, the promises they made are all they have left. Ripped apart, they can’t turn back, they can’t go on, and they can’t let go. Both will have to make terrible sacrifices to find each other, save each other, and eventually...make peace with who they are.


I read Still back in March and knew then that it would likely be my favorite book of the year. What could top this emotional, gripping story of two characters that I felt like I knew inside and out? Kennedy Ryan tackles timely, relevant issues and weaves them into her stories so deftly. Still made me think and feel and I didn't want to turn the last page.

I'll be there.
Through thick and thin.
Ride or die.
You can count on me.

The promises people make. The vows we take.
Assumptions of the heart.

Emotion tells us how we feel, but life...life has a way of plunging us in boiling water, burning away our illusions, testing our faith, trying our convictions.
Love floating is a butterfly, but love tested is an anchor.

For Grip and Bristol
Love started at the top of the world
On a Ferris wheel under the stars
But when that love is tested, will they fly or fall?


The Sunday Post #234 | December 27, 2020


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's a chance to share news: a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books,
 and share what's coming up on your blog in the week ahead. 
I worked only two days this week and it's been divine having off five days in a row. I've been loving it. If there's a vote to switch from working five/off two to working two/off five... let me know, will you? I'm a big fan.

December must be my lucky month, or 2020 decided to try to make up for the last nine months, because I have won four giveaways this month! I rarely even enter giveaways. I'm not one to enter just anything for the sake of winning; instead, I only enter when I am truly interested in what is offered. So to win four giveaway at all is pretty amazing, and considering it's been in the span of about three weeks is just crazy. (1) I won an audio book from Anne at Books of My Heart. (2) I won a book of my choice from Stephanie at Once Upon a Chapter. (3) I won an Amazon gift card from Michelle at Because Reading Is Better Than Real Life. (4) And yesterday I received an email from Goodreads saying I'd won a copy of Kate Clayborn's Love at First. I'm feeling pretty spoiled and so very thankful. And I'll be doing a few giveaways very soon so I can pay it forward.

For those that celebrate, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Our main celebration is usually Christmas Eve and we did find a way to gather this year. We booked the amenities center in my neighborhood for my extended family of ten. We spaced out the three tables for each family, handed out gifts while wearing masks, and everyone brought their own food so there was no sharing. So, together but separate. We made the best of the situation and everyone seemed to agree that it was a success.

Christmas Day was a lot quieter. The Husband and I exchanged some gifts, and my mom came over for lunch. It's hard to buy a ham for just three people so now I'm determined to serve ham with every meal. Cereal for breakfast? Have a side of ham! Salad for lunch? How about a ham sammie on the side? What's that, you're tired of ham? Too bad, eat some more! :) 

Any plans for New Years Eve? I imagine most of the big celebrations are cancelled (at least I hope they are) but however you ring in the new year this coming week, I hope it's filled with health and happiness for us all. Here's to 2021... may it bring better things.

This Millennium Mix of Auld Lang Syne by Kenny G has been a favorite of mine for many years. Enjoy.

Sunday, December 20

Tuesday, December 22


I've mentioned that I was in a bit of a reading slump after trying to force myself to read a book I wasn't enjoying. (Not something I would normally do, but it was for a book club and I felt obligated.) I'm happy to say that my reading finally picked back up this week!  


Listened to:




How was your week? Any new books? Any news to share?
I'd love to hear about it!